A Companion to Aristotle
Blackwell Companions to PhilosophyThis outstanding student reference series offers a comprehensive and authoritative surve...
A Companion to Aristotle             Edited byGeorgios Anagnostopoulos    A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication
This edition first published 2009© 2009 Blackwell Publishing LtdBlackwell Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in F...
Μνη η μητρος Δη  ´μ       `  ´μητρας     (1904–2006)
ContentsNotes on Contributors                                                xiPreface                                    ...
contents 9     Aristotelian Categories                                 144       GARETH B. MATTHEWS10     Form and Matter ...
contentsPart IV PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE                                                 385A. Ethics24    Happiness and the St...
contentsB. Art39 Aristotle’s Poetics: The Aim of Tragedy   612   PAUL WOODRUFF40   The Elements of Tragedy                ...
Notes on ContributorsGeorgios Anagnostopoulos is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California,San Diego. His ...
notes on contributorsPaolo Crivelli teaches philosophy at New College, Oxford. His areas of research areAncient Philosophy...
notes on contributorsAristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” (2004) and “Aristotle on Moral Virtue and the Fine”in The Blackwell ...
notes on contributorsof Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics, volume 6 of A Treatise of Legal Philosophyand Gene...
notes on contributorsRobin Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. His areas of researchinclude ancient ...
PrefaceThe present volume does not provide a survey of all of Aristotle’s thought, and it wasnot intended to do so. Its ai...
prefacei.e., those studying the instruments or tools for reasoning, demonstrating and, ingeneral, attaining knowledge and ...
Abbreviations of Aristotle’s WorksCategories (Categoriae)                                        CatEudemian Ethics (Ethic...
Part IAristotle’s Life and Works
1                               Aristotle’s Life                 g e o rg i o s a nag n o s t o po u l o sTo many, Aristot...
georgios anagnostopoulosPeloponnesos; the family of his mother, Phaistis, came from Chalcis of Euboia, an islandon the Aeg...
aristotle’s lifelogical phenomenon with which they were familiar. Indeed, Aristotle seems to be star-tled by the phenomena...
georgios anagnostopoulos(V.1). Years after his sojourn in Plato’s school, he continues to speak with affectiontoward those...
aristotle’s lifedirector of the Academy on account of “doctrinal unorthodoxy” (G. E. R. Lloyd 1968:4–5), with the position...
georgios anagnostopoulosindicates that he viewed Hermeias’ Academic circle as an extension of the Academy.Aristotle moved ...
aristotle’s lifeaimed beyond warfare and conquest – possibly the Hellenizing of the world of the East– Aristotle seems to ...
georgios anagnostopouloshe is probably articulating something of personal and profound significance to himself.7His critica...
aristotle’s lifevived (see Düring 1957: 349–51). Diogenes Laertius, for instance, reports that Aristotle“spoke with a lisp...
georgios anagnostopoulos2   Works by Aristotle on dissections appear in all three detailed lists of his works from antiqui...
aristotle’s life11   Düring (p. 462) reaches conclusions similar to Jaeger’s: “Aristotle left Athens in the middle of   a ...
2                   Aristotle’s Works and              the Development of His Thought                 g e o rg i o s a nag...
aristotle’s works and thoughtthe other, of the kind of genetic information identified in DNA theories (Delbrück1971).    Bu...
georgios anagnostopoulosFurthermore, the parts of the legend concerning the transference of Aristotle’s worksto and from t...
aristotle’s works and thoughtof editing Aristotle’s works, which he claims to have used himself as a model in editingthe w...
georgios anagnostopoulosthe Pol, the common Books of the EE and NE, the appropriateness of including Book Iof Phys in that...
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Blackwell companions. anagnostopoulos, georgios (org). aristotle

  1. 1. A Companion to Aristotle
  2. 2. Blackwell Companions to PhilosophyThis outstanding student reference series offers a comprehensive and authoritative survey of philosophy asa whole. Written by today’s leading philosophers, each volume provides lucid and engaging coverage of thekey figures, terms, topics, and problems of the field. Taken together, the volumes provide the ideal basis forcourse use, representing an unparalleled work of reference for students and specialists alike.Already published in the series: 22. A Companion to Philosophical Logic Edited by Dale Jacquette 1. The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy, 23. A Companion to Early Modern Philosophy Second Edition Edited by Steven Nadler Edited by Nicholas Bunnin and Eric Tsui-James 24. A Companion to Philosophy in 2. A Companion to Ethics the Middle Ages Edited by Peter Singer Edited by Jorge J. E. Gracia and Timothy B. Noone 3. A Companion to Aesthetics Edited by David Cooper 25. A Companion to African-American Philosophy 4. A Companion to Epistemology Edited by Tommy L. Lott and John P. Pittman Edited by Jonathan Dancy and Ernest Sosa 26. A Companion to Applied Ethics 5. A Companion to Contemporary Political Edited by R. G. Frey and Christopher Heath Philosophy (two-volume set), Wellman Second Edition Edited by Robert E. Goodin and Philip Pettit 27. A Companion to the Philosophy of Education Edited by Randall Curren 6. A Companion to Philosophy of Mind Edited by Samuel Guttenplan 28. A Companion to African Philosophy Edited by Kwasi Wiredu 7. A Companion to Metaphysics Edited by Jaegwon Kim and Ernest Sosa 29. A Companion to Heidegger Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and 8. A Companion to Philosophy of Law and Legal Mark A. Wrathall Theory Edited by Dennis Patterson 30. A Companion to Rationalism Edited by Alan Nelson 9. A Companion to Philosophy of Religion Edited by Philip L. Quinn and Charles Taliaferro 31. A Companion to Ancient Philosophy Edited by Mary Louise Gill and Pierre Pellegrin10. A Companion to the Philosophy of Language Edited by Bob Hale and Crispin Wright 32. A Companion to Pragmatism Edited by John R. Shook and Joseph Margolis11. A Companion to World Philosophies Edited by Eliot Deutsch and Ron Bontekoe 33. A Companion to Nietzsche Edited by Keith Ansell Pearson12. A Companion to Continental Philosophy Edited by Simon Critchley and William 34. A Companion to Socrates Schroeder Edited by Sara Ahbel-Rappe and Rachana Kamtekar13. A Companion to Feminist Philosophy Edited by Alison M. Jaggar and Iris Marion 35. A Companion to Phenomenology and Young Existentialism Edited by Hubert L. Dreyfus and14. A Companion to Cognitive Science Mark A. Wrathall Edited by William Bechtel and George Graham 36. A Companion to Kant15. A Companion to Bioethics Edited by Graham Bird Edited by Helga Kuhse and Peter Singer 37. A Companion to Plato16. A Companion to the Philosophers Edited by Hugh H. Benson Edited by Robert L. Arrington 38. A Companion to Descartes17. A Companion to Business Ethics Edited by Janet Broughton and John Carriero Edited by Robert E. Frederick 39. A Companion to the Philosophy of Biology18. A Companion to the Philosophy of Science Edited by Sahotra Sarkar and Anya Plutynski Edited by W. H. Newton-Smith 40. A Companion to Hume19. A Companion to Environmental Philosophy Edited by Elizabeth S. Radcliffe Edited by Dale Jamieson 41. A Companion to the Philosophy of History20. A Companion to Analytic Philosophy and Historiography Edited by A. P. Martinich and David Sosa Edited by Aviezer Tucker21. A Companion to Genethics 42. A Companion to Aristotle Edited by Justine Burley and John Harris Edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos
  3. 3. A Companion to Aristotle Edited byGeorgios Anagnostopoulos A John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., Publication
  4. 4. This edition first published 2009© 2009 Blackwell Publishing LtdBlackwell Publishing was acquired by John Wiley & Sons in February 2007. Blackwell’s publishingprogram has been merged with Wiley’s global Scientific, Technical, and Medical business to formWiley-Blackwell.Registered OfficeJohn Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, United KingdomEditorial Offices350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148-5020, USA9600 Garsington Road, Oxford, OX4 2DQ, UKThe Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, UKFor details of our global editorial offices, for customer services, and for information about how to applyfor permission to reuse the copyright material in this book please see our website at www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell.The right of Georgios Anagnostopoulos to be identified as the author of the editorial material in this workhas been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, ortransmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise,except as permitted by the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, without the prior permission ofthe publisher.Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print maynot be available in electronic books.Designations used by companies to distinguish their products are often claimed as trademarks. All brandnames and product names used in this book are trade names, service marks, trademarks or registeredtrademarks of their respective owners. The publisher is not associated with any product or vendormentioned in this book. This publication is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information inregard to the subject matter covered. It is sold on the understanding that the publisher is not engaged inrendering professional services. If professional advice or other expert assistance is required, the services ofa competent professional should be sought.Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication DataA companion to Aristotle / edited by Georgios Anagnostopoulos. p. cm. – (Blackwell companions to philosophy) Includes bibliographical references and index. ISBN 978-1-4051-2223-8 (hardcover : alk. paper) 1. Aristotle. I. Anagnostopoulos, Georgios. B485.C59 2009 185–dc22 2008036223A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.Set in 10 on 12.5 pt Photina by SNP Best-set Typesetter Ltd., Hong KongPrinted in Singapore by Fabulous Printers Pte Ltd1 2009
  5. 5. Μνη η μητρος Δη ´μ ` ´μητρας (1904–2006)
  6. 6. ContentsNotes on Contributors xiPreface xviAbbreviations of Aristotle’s Works xviiiPart I ARISTOTLE’S LIFE AND WORKS 1 1 Aristotle’s Life 3 GEORGIOS ANAGNOSTOPOULOS 2 Aristotle’s Works and the Development of His Thought 14 GEORGIOS ANAGNOSTOPOULOSPart II THE TOOLS OF INQUIRY 29 3 Deductive Logic 31 DAVID KEYT 4 Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstration 51 ROBIN SMITH 5 Empiricism and the First Principles of Aristotelian Science 66 MICHAEL FEREJOHN 6 Aristotle on Signification and Truth 81 PAOLO CRIVELLI 7 Aristotle’s Methods 101 GEORGIOS ANAGNOSTOPOULOSPart III THEORETICAL KNOWLEDGE 123A. Metaphysics 8 The Science and Axioms of Being 125 MICHAEL V. WEDIN vii
  7. 7. contents 9 Aristotelian Categories 144 GARETH B. MATTHEWS10 Form and Matter 162 FRANK A. LEWIS11 Aristotle on Universals 186 MICHAEL J. LOUX12 Substances 197 S. MARC COHEN13 Causes 213 R. J. HANKINSON14 Heavenly Bodies and First Causes 230 SARAH BROADIEB. Physics15 Mixing the Elements 242 THEODORE SCALTSAS16 Aristotle on the Infinite, Space, and Time 260 MICHAEL J. WHITE17 Change and Its Relation to Actuality and Potentiality 277 URSULA COOPEC. Psychology18 The Aristotelian Psuchê 292 CHRISTOPHER SHIELDS19 Sensation and Desire 310 DEBORAH KAREN WARD MODRAK20 Phantasia and Thought 322 VICTOR CASTOND. Biology21 Teleology in Living Things 335 MOHAN MATTHEN22 Form, Essence, and Explanation in Aristotle’s Biology 348 JAMES G. LENNOX23 Generation of Animals 368 DEVIN M. HENRYviii
  8. 8. contentsPart IV PRACTICAL KNOWLEDGE 385A. Ethics24 Happiness and the Structure of Ends 387 GABRIEL RICHARDSON LEAR25 Pleasure 404 GEORGE RUDEBUSCH26 Human Excellence in Character and Intellect 419 GAVIN LAWRENCE27 Courage 442 CHARLES M. YOUNG28 Justice 457 CHARLES M. YOUNG29 Friendship 471 MICHAEL PAKALUK30 Voluntary, Involuntary, and Choice 483 ROBERT HEINAMAN31 Aristotle on Action, Practical Reason, and Weakness of the Will 498 NORMAN O. DAHLB. Politics32 The Naturalness of the Polis in Aristotle 512 C. D. C. REEVE33 Rulers and Ruled 526 ROBERT MAYHEW34 Aristotle on the Ideal Constitution 540 FRED D. MILLER, JR.35 Excellences of the Citizen and of the Individual 555 JEAN ROBERTS36 Education and the State 566 RICHARD STALLEYPart V PRODUCTIVE KNOWLEDGE 577A. Rhetoric37 The Nature and Goals of Rhetoric 579 CHRISTOF RAPP38 Passions and Persuasion 597 STEPHEN LEIGHTON ix
  9. 9. contentsB. Art39 Aristotle’s Poetics: The Aim of Tragedy 612 PAUL WOODRUFF40 The Elements of Tragedy 628 ELIZABETH BELFIOREIndex 643x
  10. 10. Notes on ContributorsGeorgios Anagnostopoulos is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of California,San Diego. His research interests primarily focus on ancient Greek philosophy, ethics,and metaphysics. He has authored Aristotle on the Goals and Exactness of Ethics (1994),edited Law and Rights in the Ancient Greek Tradition (a supplementary volume ofPhilosophical Inquiry, 2006), and has published a number of articles on ancient Greekphilosophy and medicine.Elizabeth Belfiore is Professor of Classics at the University of Minnesota, TwinCities. Her two main areas of research are ancient philosophy and Greek tragedy.She is the author of Tragic Pleasures: Aristotle on Plot and Emotion (1992), MurderAmong Friends: Violation of Philia in Greek Tragedy (2000), and numerous articles inthese fields.Sarah Broadie taught at the University of Edinburgh, the University of Texas atAustin, Yale, Rutgers, and Princeton, before taking up her present position at theUniversity of St. Andrews. She has wide interests in philosophy and her collectionAristotle and Beyond: Essays in Metaphysics and Ethics was published in 2007.Victor Caston is Professor of Philosophy and Classical Studies at the University ofMichigan. His research concentrates on issues in the philosophy of mind throughoutantiquity, and he has published extensively on Aristotle, including papers on percep-tion, phantasia, and intellect, with a focus on mind–body issues, mental causation,intentionality, and consciousness. He is currently at work on a book on the problem ofintentionality in ancient philosophy.S. Marc Cohen is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington, where heteaches courses in the history of ancient Greek philosophy, logic, and the philosophyof language. He has also taught at Minnesota, Rutgers, Berkeley, and Indiana. Hispublications have mainly concerned the metaphysics and epistemology of Plato andAristotle. He is co-editor of Readings in Ancient Greek Philosophy (2005) and co-authorof Ammonius: On Aristotle’s Categories (1991).Ursula Coope is Fellow of Corpus Christi College and University Lecturer at OxfordUniversity. She is the author of Time for Aristotle: “Physics” IV.10–14 (2005). xi
  11. 11. notes on contributorsPaolo Crivelli teaches philosophy at New College, Oxford. His areas of research areAncient Philosophy, mainly Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. He has published a bookAristotle on Truth (2004) and several articles in various journals (Archiv fuer Geschichteder Philosophie, Phronesis, Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy, among others), alongwith collections of essays.Norman O. Dahl is Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus, University of Minnesota. Hismain areas of research interest are ethics and ancient Greek philosophy. Publicationsin the latter area include: Practical Reason, Aristotle, and Weakness of the Will, (1984);“Plato’s Defense of Justice,” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (1991); “Sub-stance, Sameness, and Essence in Metaphysics VII 6,” Ancient Philosophy (2007); andNicomachean Ethics Books III–IV, “Theses and Arguments” and “AlternativeInterpretations,” Project Archelogos.Michael Ferejohn is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Duke University, andspecializes in Platonic and Aristotelian metaphysics and epistemology and Socraticethics. He is the author of The Origins of Aristotelian Science (1991) as well as numerousarticles on Plato and Aristotle in scholarly journals.R. J. Hankinson was educated at Oxford and Cambridge, and is Professor of Philosophyand Classics at the University of Texas at Austin. He has also taught at McGill University,and was a Research Fellow of King’s Cambridge. He has published numerous articleson various aspects of Greek philosophy and science, and is the author of several books,including The Sceptics (1995) and Cause and Explanation in Ancient Greek Thought (1998).He is currently working on a history of the concept of demonstration.Robert Heinaman of University College London specializes in ancient philosophy. Hisrecent publications include: “Why Justice Does Not Pay in Plato’s Republic,” ClassicalQuarterly (2004); “Actuality, Potentiality and De Anima II.5,” Phronesis (2007); and“Aristotle on the Activity Eudaimonia,” Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy (2007).Devin M. Henry of the University of Western Ontario, researches in ancient philoso-phy and science, and philosophy of biology. Selected publications include: “OrganismalNatures,” Apeiron (2008); “How Sexist is Aristotle’s Developmental Biology?” Phronesis(2007); “Aristotle on the Mechanisms of Inheritance,” Journal of the History of Biology(2006); “Embryological Models in Ancient Philosophy,” Phronesis (2005), and“Themistius and Spontaneous Generation in Aristotle’s Metaphysics,” Oxford Studies inAncient Philosophy (2003).David Keyt is a professor of philosophy at the University of Washington. His currentresearch is on Plato and Aristotle. He is the author of Aristotle: Politics V and VI (1999)and co-editor with Fred D. Miller, Jr. of A Companion to Aristotle’s Politics (1991), andFreedom, Reason, and the Polis: Essays in Ancient Greek Political Philosophy (2007).Gavin Lawrence is Professor at the Department of Philosophy, UCLA. He worksmainly in ancient philosophy, practical philosophy, and later Wittgenstein.Gabriel Richardson Lear is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University ofChicago. She is currently writing about topics in Plato’s and Aristotle’s ethics andaesthetics. Her publications include: Happy Lives and the Highest Good: An Essay onxii
  12. 12. notes on contributorsAristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” (2004) and “Aristotle on Moral Virtue and the Fine”in The Blackwell Guide to Aristotle’s “Nicomachean Ethics” (2005).Stephen Leighton is Professor of Philosophy at Queen’s University, Canada. Hisresearch interests include Plato, Aristotle (particularly their philosophical psychologiesand understandings of value), theories of the emotions, and value theory.James G. Lennox is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the Universityof Pittsburgh. His research focuses on the history and philosophy of biology and espe-cially on Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition and Charles Darwin and Darwinism.His publications include a translation with commentary of Aristotle: On the “Parts ofAnimals” I–IV (2001) and a collection of essays entitled Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology:Studies in the Origins of Life Science (2001).Frank A. Lewis is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southern California. Heis the author of Substance and Predication in Aristotle (1991), and co-editor (with RobertBolton) of Form, Matter, and Mixture in Aristotle (1996). Recent publications deal mostlywith topics in Aristotle’s metaphysics and natural philosophy.Michael J. Loux is Shuster Professor of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame.His areas of research include metaphysics and Aristotle. Among his publications are:Substance and Attribute, Primary Ousia, Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction (3rdedn.), and Nature, Norm, and Psyche.Mohan Matthen is Canada Research Chair in Philosophy, Perception, and Com-munication at the University of Toronto. Previously he taught at the University ofBritish Columbia and the University of Alberta. He has worked on ancient science andmetaphysics, and on connections between the two. Currently, his main area of researchis the philosophy of perception: Seeing, Doing, and Knowing: A Philosophical Theory ofSense-perception (2005).Gareth B. Matthews is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the University ofMassachusetts, Amherst. He taught previously at the University of Virginia and theUniversity of Minnesota. He is the author of a number of books and articles on ancientand medieval philosophy, including Socratic Perplexity and the Nature of Philosophy(1999) and Augustine (2005).Robert Mayhew is Professor of Philosophy at Seton Hall University. His researchinterests include the moral and political thought of Plato and Aristotle, and thetwentieth-century novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. His recent books are The Female inAristotle’s Biology: Reason or Rationalization (2004) and Plato: “Laws” 10 (2008). Hehas recently finished a book on Prodicus of Ceos and is currently working on a revisededition of the Aristotelian Problemata.Fred D. Miller, Jr. is Professor of Philosophy and Executive Director of the SocialPhilosophy and Policy Center at Bowling Green State University. He is the author ofNature, Justice, and Rights in Aristotle’s Politics (1995) and co-editor of numerous col-lections, including A Companion to Aristotle’s Politics (1991), of Freedom, Reason, and thePolis: Essays in Ancient Greek Political Philosophy (2007), and A History of the Philosophy xiii
  13. 13. notes on contributorsof Law from the Ancient Greeks to the Scholastics, volume 6 of A Treatise of Legal Philosophyand General Jurisprudence (2007).Deborah Karen Ward Modrak is a Professor of Philosophy at the University ofRochester. She has published articles on a wide range of topics in ancient Greek phi-losophy. She is the author of Aristotle: The Power of Perception (1987) and Aristotle’sTheory of Language and Meaning (2001).Michael Pakaluk is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Integrative Research atthe Institute for the Psychological Sciences in Arlington, VA. His work currently focuseson Aristotelian psychology, moral psychology, and philosophy of action. His booksinclude the Clarendon Aristotle volume on Nicomachean Ethics, Books VIII and IX,Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics: An Introduction (2005), and Aristotelian Moral Psychologyand Philosophy of Action (with Giles Pearson, forthcoming).Christof Rapp is Professor of Philosophy at the Humboldt-University at Berlin.His areas of research include ancient philosophy, ontology, ethics, philosophy ofrhetoric. Among his publications are: Vorsokratiker (1997, 2007), Aristoteles zurEinführung (2001, 2008), Aristoteles, Werke in deutscher Übersetzung, Bd. 4: “Rhetorik”(2002).C. D. C. Reeve is Delta Kappa Epsilon Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at theUniversity of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He works in ancient Greek philosophy,ethics, metaphysics, and the philosophy of film. He is the author of Love’s Confusions(2005), Women in the Academy (2001), Substantial Knowledge (2000), Practices of Reason(1992), Socrates in the Apology (1989), and Philosopher-Kings (1988, 2006). He hastranslated Plato’s Cratylus (1997), Euthyphro, Apology, Crito (2002), Republic (2004),Meno (2006), and Aristotle’s Politics (1998).Jean Roberts is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Washington,Seattle. She has written mainly on Plato’s and Aristotle’s moral and political theoryand is working on a book on Aristotle’s Politics.George Rudebusch is Professor of Philosophy at Northern Arizona University. He isthe author of Socrates, Pleasure, and Value (1999) and Socrates (forthcoming).Theodore Scaltsas, University of Edinburgh, works on ancient philosophy and con-temporary metaphysics. His books include: Substances and Universals in Aristotle’sMetaphysics, Unity, Identity and Explanation in Aristotle’s “Metaphysics,” the Philosophyof Zeno, the Philosophy of Epictetus. His recent articles are on the topics of plural subjectsand relations in Plato, ontological composition, and being determinate in Aristotle. Heis the founder and director of Project Archelogos.Christopher Shields is Fellow of Lady Margaret Hall and Professor of ClassicalPhilosophy in the University of Oxford. He is the author of Aristotle, Order in Multiplicity:Homonymy in the Philosophy of Aristotle, Aristotle, “De Anima”: Translation andCommentary, Classical Philosophy: A Contemporary Introduction, and (with RobertPasnau) The Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. He is also editor of The Blackwell Guide toAncient Philosophy and The Oxford Handbook on Aristotle.xiv
  14. 14. notes on contributorsRobin Smith is Professor of Philosophy at Texas A&M University. His areas of researchinclude ancient Greek philosophy, especially Aristotle and ancient logic. Among hispublications are Aristotle, “Prior Analytics,” (1989) and Aristotle, Topics I, VIII andSelections (1997).Richard Stalley is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. Hehas worked mainly on the moral and political philosophy of Plato and Aristotle and onScottish Philosophy. His publications include An Introduction to Plato’s Laws (1983) andAristotle’s “Politics” (1995).Michael V. Wedin is Professor of Philosophy at the University of California, Davis.Apart from a brace of articles on Wittgenstein’s Tractatus, and an occasional foray intoPlato, his essays focus chiefly on Aristotle’s logic and semantics, philosophy of mind,and metaphysics. Lengthier efforts include Mind and Imagination in Aristotle (1988) andAristotle’s Theory of Substance: The “Categories” and “Metaphyiscs” Zeta (2000). He hasalso completed a book on the logical structure of Parmenides’ “Way of Truth.”Michael J. White is Professor of Philosophy at Arizona State University and Professorof Law at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University. His prin-cipal areas of research are history of philosophy, of natural science, and of mathemat-ics, political philosophy, jurisprudence, and mathematical logic. His publicationsinclude: “Plato and Mathematics,” in A Companion to Plato (2006); “On Doubling theCube: Mechanics and Conics, Apeiron, 2006; “Stoic Natural Philosophy (Physics andCosmology),” in The Cambridge Companion to the Stoics (2003), and “The Problem ofAristotle’s Nous Poiêtikos” (Review of Metaphysics (2004)).Paul Woodruff is Darrell K. Royal Preofessor of Ethics and American Society at theUniversity of Texas where he serves in the departments of philosophy and classics. WithPeter Meineck, he has published a complete translation of Sophocles’ plays. One of hisrecent books is The Necessity of Theater: The Art of Watching and Being Watched.Charles M. Young is Professor of Philosophy at Claremont Graduate University. He iscurrently completing a monograph on Aristotle’s accounts of virtue and the virtuesand the module on Nicomachean Ethics V for Project Archelogos, after which he planswork on Aristotelian grace (the impulse to return good for good received) and onAristotle’s Rhetoric and Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. xv
  15. 15. PrefaceThe present volume does not provide a survey of all of Aristotle’s thought, and it wasnot intended to do so. Its aim is to treat some central topics of his philosophy in as muchdepth as is possible within the space of a short chapter. Ancient and later biographersand historians of philosophy attribute to Aristotle a large number of works, two-thirdsof which have not survived. Even what has survived is an astounding achievement,both in its size and scope. Aristotle’s extant works add up to more than two thousandprinted pages and range over an astonishingly large number of topics – from the highlyabstract problems of being, substance, essence, form, and matter to those relating solelyto the natural world, and especially to living things (e.g., nutrition and the otherfaculties of the soul, generation, sleep, memory, dreaming, movement, and so on),the human good and excellences, the political association and types of constitutions,rhetoric, tragedy, and so on. Clearly, not all the topics Aristotle examines in his works could be discussed in asingle volume, and choices had to be made as to which ones to include. The choiceswere guided by an intuitive consideration – e.g., the centrality a topic has in the total-ity of the Aristotelian corpus (e.g., substance, essence, cause, teleology) or in a single,major work (e.g., the categories, the soul, and the generation of animals are the centraltopics in three different Aristotelian treatises). These considerations produced a first list.Still, the list was too long for a single volume, and had to be shortened. The topics thatmade the final list seemed to the editor to be the ones that any volume with the objec-tives of this one has to include. Others might have come up with different lists, but theywould not be radically different from this. The overwhelming majority of the topicsdiscussed below would be on every list that was aiming to achieve the objectives of thisvolume. Individually, each one of these topics receives an extensive treatment inAristotle’s works, and the views he articulates on them, when put together, give a goodsense of the kinds of problems that exercised Aristotle’s mind and the immense andlasting contributions he made in his investigations of them. The contents of the volume are divided into five parts, with part I covering Aristotle’slife and certain issues about the number, edition, and chronology of his works. Thedivision of the remaining chapters is based on the way Aristotle frequently character-izes groups of inquiries in terms of their goals. Thus, part II consists of a number ofchapters discussing topics from the treatises that have been traditionally called Organon,xvi
  16. 16. prefacei.e., those studying the instruments or tools for reasoning, demonstrating and, ingeneral, attaining knowledge and truth. Aristotle does not label these works (Categories,On Interpretation, Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics, On Sophistical Refutations)Organon, but in several passages in his extant works he indicates that he views themas the instruments of inquiry and knowledge. The division of the remaining chaptersinto three parts – Theoretical, Practical, and Productive Knowledge – is, of course,based on the way Aristotle himself frequently divides the various inquiries on the basisof their ultimate goals – knowledge, action, and production. The chapters included ineach one of these parts are further subdivided into groups on the basis of the subfieldof Aristotelian philosophy to which a topic or the work(s) treating it belong – Metaphysics(seven chapters), Physics (three), Psychology (three), Biology (three) in part III (theo-retical knowledge); Ethics (eight) and Politics (five) in part IV (practical knowledge);and Rhetoric (two) and Art (two) in part V (productive knowledge). Of course, severaltopics (e.g., cause, teleology, substance) are discussed in many different Aristoteliantreatises, with some of them falling into different groups with respect to their ultimategoals – e.g., substance is explored in both the Categories (Organon) and the Metaphysics(theoretical knowledge). The contributors to the volume are many, and no attempt was made to impose auniform style with respect to writing, presentation, or argumentation. Each contributorwas left free to use her/his favored approach, except in the way references to Aristotle’sworks or citations of specific passages in them are made – a uniform system has beenadopted. Although in some instances the whole title of a work (e.g., Politics) is given,most frequently an abbreviation is used (e.g., Pol: see list of abbreviations). Citations ofpassages in the Aristotelian corpus are made by giving: (1) the title of the specific work,(e.g., Pol or An for de Anima); (2) the Book for those Aristotelian treatises that are dividedinto Books in Roman numerals (e.g., I, II) – except for Met where Books are identifiedby uppercase Greek letters (e.g., Γ, Θ) and lowercase alpha (α) for the second Book; (3)the chapter within the Book or treatise in Arabic numerals; (4) and the Bekker pageand line number – e.g., An II.1 412a3, or Met Γ.4 1008b15. Each chapter includes ashort bibliography listing the sources cited in it and in some cases additional works onthe topic discussed that might be of interest to the reader. Space limitations did notpermit the inclusion of a comprehensive bibliography on Aristotle. Working on the volume gave me the opportunity to reconnect with colleagues Ihave known over the years and to come in contact with others with whom I had noprevious exchanges. Collaborating with them has been rewarding in more than oneway, and I want to thank all of them for accepting the invitation to be a part of theproject and for their contributions. I also wish to thank several people at Blackwell whomade the publication of the volume a reality and, most of all, for their patience: NickBellorini for inviting me to edit the volume, Liz Cremona, and Graeme Leonard. xvii
  17. 17. Abbreviations of Aristotle’s WorksCategories (Categoriae) CatEudemian Ethics (Ethica Eudemia) EEGeneration of Animals (de Generatione Animalium) GAHistory of Animals (Historia Animalium) HAInterpretations (de Interpretatione) IntMagna Moralia MMMetaphysics (Metaphysica) MetMeteorology (Meteorologica) MeteorMovement of Animals (de Motu Animalium) MANicomachean Ethics (Ethica Nicomachea) NEOn Dreams (de Insomniis) InsomnOn Generation and Corruption (de Generatione et Corruptione) GCOn the Heavens (de Caelo) CaelOn Memory (de Memoria et Reminiscentia) MemOn the Soul (de Anima) AnOn the Universe (de Mundo) MundOn Virtues and Vices (de Vertutibus et Vitiis) VVParts of Animals (de Partibus Animalium) PAPhysics (Physica) PhysPoetics (Poetica) PoetPolitics (Politica) PolPosterior Analytics (Analytica Posteriora) An. PostPrior Analytics (Analytica Priora) An. PrProblems (Problemata) ProbProgression of Animals (de Incessu Animalium) IARhetoric (Rhetorica) RhetSense and Sensibilia (de Sensu et Sensibilibus) SensSophistical Refutations (Sophistici Elenchi) SETopics (Topica) Topxviii
  18. 18. Part IAristotle’s Life and Works
  19. 19. 1 Aristotle’s Life g e o rg i o s a nag n o s t o po u l o sTo many, Aristotle is the last great figure in the distinguished philosophical traditionof Greece that is thought to begin with Thales (ca. 600 BCE). Of course, Greek philosophydid not end with Aristotle; it continued for several centuries in the various schools –those of the Epicureans, Skeptics, and Stoics as well as Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’sown Peripatetic School – that flourished in Athens and elsewhere up to the early cen-turies of the Byzantine Empire. Yet there is considerable truth in the opinion of themany, if viewed as a claim about great individual figures in the Greek philosophicaltradition. For Aristotle was the last great individual philosopher of ancient times, oneof the three thinkers – the others being Socrates (470–399 BCE) and Plato (427–347BCE) – that comprise what many consider to be the greatest philosophical trio of all time.Their philosophical careers span more than a hundred years, and all three were majorfigures in the lively philosophical scene of fifth- and fourth-century Athens. It was aunique moment in the history of philosophy, one that saw Socrates engaging in discus-sions with Plato – by far the most distinguished of his followers – and Plato instructingand debating with Aristotle – by far the most eminent student to graduate from and doresearch in his own school, the Academy. While Socrates and Plato were born and spent their entire lives in Athens – indeed,Socrates took pride in the fact he left Athens only for military service (Plato, Crito52b–c) – Aristotle was not born in Athens, never became a citizen of it and, accordingto some, never felt at home in it, despite his extended stays there. He spent most of hislife and died away from his birthplace. Aristotle’s life may conveniently be divided intothe following five periods, which correspond to his residency in certain parts of theGreek world and, according to some, to the main stages of his intellectual growth. Early Years in StageiraAristotle spent the first seventeen years of his life in the ancient Greek city-state ofStageira, where he was born in 384 BCE. Stageira, colonized by Andros (an Aegeanisland) and Chalcis of Euboia, is located in the eastern-most finger of the ChalcidiciPeninsula, a region of the ancient Greek world located about 500 km north of Athens.His father’s family had its origins in Messenia at the south-western tip of the 3
  20. 20. georgios anagnostopoulosPeloponnesos; the family of his mother, Phaistis, came from Chalcis of Euboia, an islandon the Aegean Sea, a few kilometers west of Athens. While there is no evidence thatAristotle retained any contact with Messenia, he stayed connected to his mother’sfamily and estate in Chalcis; he spent the last year of his life and died there. Aristotle’sfather, Nicomachos, belonged to the Asclepiadae medical guild and served as a courtphysician to the Macedonian King Amyntas II. Aristotle probably spent some of hischildhood in the Macedonian palace in Pella, thus establishing connections with theMacedonian monarchy that were to last throughout his whole life. Both of Aristotle’sparents died when he was still a boy, and his upbringing was entrusted to a familyrelative named Proxenos, whose own son, Nicanor, was later adopted by Aristotle. The paucity of information on Aristotle’s childhood has made it difficult to answerquestions about influences on him during the early, formative years of his life, and ithas provided ample ground for speculation. Some have wondered how one of theworld’s greatest and most influential minds could have come from a rather remote partof the Greek world and far away from Athens. Such wondering seems unfounded. AsG. E. R. Lloyd (1968: 3) observes, in the ancient Greek world, many great thinkers wereborn or flourished in places far away from Athens. Democritus, whose atomistic con-ception of matter has shaped the scientific account of the natural world for centuries,came from a place (Abdera) that is farther away from Athens than is Aristotle’s birth-place. It is perhaps more interesting to ask about the influence his early surroundingsmay have had on Aristotle’s attitudes or ideas. For example, one might puzzle aboutthe personal basis of Aristotle’s views on the ideal size of a polis (city-state). At the timehe was articulating these views, Alexander the Great was creating a political entity thatextended eastward from the Greek mainland to India, something Aristotle would notidentify as a polis on account of its size. Many of the Greek city-states that were mostfamiliar to Aristotle, including those of Athens and Sparta, far exceeded in size his idealpolis which, according to him: (a) should be self sufficient (Pol VII.5 1326b26 andthroughout this work); (b) should have a population “that is the largest number suf-ficient for the purposes of life and can be taken at a single view” (VII.4 1326b25); and(c) its territory must be able to be taken in at one view (VII.5 1327a3). Of course,Aristotle gives arguments in support of his views, and any assessment of the plausibil-ity of the latter would solely depend on the soundness and validity of these arguments.Yet it is striking how well Aristotle’s birthplace met the requirements he sets for hisideal city. Its timber,1 mining, and fishing industries probably provided enough for thesustenance of its citizens, and from the highest point of the site that is now identifiedwith ancient Stageira one can see in one view what most likely was the whole city-state.Also, its proximity to the sea satisfied Aristotle’s defense and commercial requirements(VII.5, 6). Its relatively small number of citizens would also have made it possible forits residents to know each other and develop the kind of friendship among themselvesthat Aristotle considers desirable in a polis. It is not unreasonable to suppose that hischildhood experiences of living in Stageira left lasting impressions in Aristotle’s mindand colored his attitudes toward and beliefs about aspects of the polis. Scholarly opinion is almost unanimous in supposing Aristotle’s interest in biologyand on the empirical approach to inquiry, both evident throughout his works, weredue to his father’s influence during his childhood years. He and his associates compileda vast body of facts and developed some far-reaching theories about nearly every bio-4
  21. 21. aristotle’s lifelogical phenomenon with which they were familiar. Indeed, Aristotle seems to be star-tled by the phenomena of living things, even ordinary ones (e.g., that trees have roots),and his desire to find explanations for them and, in turn, fit these into a comprehensiveexplanatory scheme is boundless. Members of the Asclepiadae guild were well-knownin antiquity for carrying on empirical research that included dissections and, accordingto Galen (On Anatomical Procedures II.1), they also trained their sons in such research,suggesting that Aristotle’s strong interest in the study of living things, his strong reli-ance on observation in such studies, and the doing of dissections were learned from hisfather and instilled in him from his early childhood. In his biological works, he makesreferences to dissections and even to works titled Dissections, which appear on theancient lists of his writings but have not survived. These same lists include lost workson medicine.2 It is apparent from the frequent references to medicine throughout hisextant corpus that he had well-defined views about medicine as a scientific inquiry andhealing art (Sens 436a17, and throughout his ethical works and Met). In addition, thesurroundings of Aristotle’s childhood were an ideal environment for the interest thatwas kindled by the family to flourish. The densely wooded area of his birthplace wasteeming with animals as was the Aegean Sea with marine life, providing a large varietyof specimens for observation and study, further exciting Aristotle’s inquisitive mind. First Athenian PeriodIn 367 and at the age of seventeen/eighteen, Aristotle entered Plato’s Academy, wherehe stayed for the next nineteen years, until Plato’s death. The specific reasons that ledAristotle to join Plato’s school are not known and, once more, scholarly speculationtries to fill the void. Thus W. D. Ross (1995: 1) surmises that “We need not supposethat it was any attraction to the life of philosophy that drew him to the Academy; hewas simply getting the best education that Greece could offer.” Given that in Plato’s/Aristotle’s time philosophy encompassed all disciplines – including mathematics,physics, astronomy, biology, politics, ethics, etc. – it is difficult to make sense of thedistinction between education and philosophy Ross wishes to draw. More importantly,given the fact that Aristotle lived the life of philosophy and in his ethics defends theview that the ideal life for a human is the contemplative life, it is quite likely that whatattracted him to Plato’s Academy was precisely the life of philosophy. Whatever Aristotle’s reasons for entering the Academy, his long stay makes it abun-dantly clear that he found the aims, intellectual approaches, and research endeavorsof the school to his liking. It seems that Aristotle did not have personal contact with orcome under the direct influence of Plato in the first two years in the Academy, sincethe latter was absent in Sicily. But there is no doubt that those responsible for hisinstruction while he was a student were following the instructional guidelines of theAcademy, which reflected Plato’s own approach to education and the main tenets ofhis philosophical thinking. Aristotle, as was probably the case with the other prominentmembers of the Academy, shared some of the main tenets of Platonism, first as a studentand then as an associate in the school, when he participated in teaching and engagedin research. According to Diogenes Laertius (third century CE) – one of our importantsources of information on Aristotle’s life – he was “the most genuine student of Plato” 5
  22. 22. georgios anagnostopoulos(V.1). Years after his sojourn in Plato’s school, he continues to speak with affectiontoward those sharing the Platonist outlook, some of whom had been his associates inthe Academy, considers them friends, and appears to include himself among the fol-lowers of Plato (NE I.6 1096a11). What survives from his early writings during his stay in the Academy clearly reflectshis general, but not necessarily complete, adherence to Platonism with respect to thetopics he discussed, the views he articulated, and even the genre of writing he chosefor expressing these views. Like the master of the Academy, he chose the dialogue asthe vehicle of philosophical inquiry, writing a number of dialogues, some having titlesidentical to dialogues of his teacher. While only fragments of these early writingssurvive, it appears that he was quite successful in the use of Socrates’ and Plato’s favor-ite way of philosophizing. The praise he received in antiquity from Cicero and Quintilianfor his graceful style is probably for his dialogues. But the issues examined in his earlywritings are also within that set of questions that were Plato’s main concern during hismiddle years – education, immortality of the soul, the nature of philosophy – and hisown positions on them do not stray far from those of his teacher. But even in these earlywritings one can see that Aristotle does not hesitate to pursue lines that deviate fromthose of Plato. And if the works included in the Aristotelian Organon belong, as is com-monly thought, to Aristotle’s period in the Academy, Plato’s student did not hesitateat all to challenge the teacher – indeed, to question some of the pillars of the edifice ofPlatonism. The relation of Aristotle’s thought to that of his teacher is a rather compli-cated matter, and it will be touched on in the next chapter. What I wish to stress hereis that, while we may all agree that Platonism left an indelible mark on Aristotle’sthinking, it would be simplistic to suppose that we can identify a stage in his life, or thathis stay in the Academy was precisely that stage, during which he was a blind followerof his teacher. Conversely, while Aristotle struck out in many new directions that aredifferent from those taken by Plato and advanced competing theories that challengefundamental Platonic tenets, it would also be equally simplistic to suppose that we canidentify a stage in Aristotle’s life when he cleanly and irrevocably broke away fromPlatonism, thereafter writing works that bear no connection to any of the views orapproaches of his teacher. Scholarly controversies also abound about Aristotle’s departure from the Academy,both about the time it happened and his reasons. While Diogenes Laertius reports thatAristotle left the Academy while Plato was still alive, most scholars today believe thathe departed soon after Plato died in 347. But what led Aristotle to leave the most pres-tigious and intellectually stimulating institution of learning of his time? Various reasonshave been proposed. I. Düring (1957: 459), for example, has suggested that Aristotle’sdeparture was in response to the rising anti-Macedonian sentiment in Athens after thesacking of Olynthus by Philip in 348. Most likely, this was a factor in Aristotle’s deci-sion. But many scholars believe that Aristotle’s reasons primarily had to do with thechoice of Plato’s successor as head of the Academy, the changes that occurred in Plato’sschool following his death, and Aristotle’s deteriorating relationship with him. Theremight be some truth to the last claim, which is echoed in Plato’s alleged remark that“Aristotle spurns me, as colts kick the mother who bore them” (Diogenes LaertiusV.1.2). But the most important reason, supposedly, was that he, like Xenocrates(another prominent member of the Academy), was not chosen to succeed Plato as6
  23. 23. aristotle’s lifedirector of the Academy on account of “doctrinal unorthodoxy” (G. E. R. Lloyd 1968:4–5), with the position going instead to Plato’s nephew, Speusippus. We hardly have any direct evidence as to why Aristotle was bypassed for the direc-torship of the Academy. But it is unlikely that the decision in favor of Speusippus andagainst both Aristotle and Xenocrates had much to do with doctrinal orthodoxy/unorthodoxy. Speusippus was no more doctrinally orthodox than the other two, havingbeen openly critical of the canonical theory of Forms.3 W. Jaeger, one of the twentiethcentury’s most eminent Aristotelian scholars, took the opposite line: He recognizedSpeusippus’ supposed unorthodoxy (Jaeger 1962: 111) and argued in support ofAristotle’s and Xenocrates’ faithfulness to Platonism, seeing the break of the latter twofrom the Academy as their response to the choice of a successor to Plato who did notrepresent Platonism. According to him, “Aristotle’s departure from Athens was theexpression of a crisis in his inner life” and “The departure of Aristotle and Xenocratesfrom the Academy was a secession: They went to Asia Minor in the conviction thatSpeusippus inherited merely the office and not the spirit [of the Academy]” (pp. 110–11). Jaeger may be right in stressing Speusippus’ deviation from aspects of Platonism,but his assumptions that Aristotle faithfully adhered to Platonism at this stage of hislife – a central element in Jaeger’s account of Aristotle’s philosophical development (seech. 2) – that a doctrinal chasm existed between him and Plato’s successor, and that thelatter was the sole reason for Aristotle’s not being chosen to succeed Plato are question-able. As Lloyd (1968: 5) points out, Xenocrates, who eventually succeeded Speusippus,was the one who remained faithful to Platonism and, if that were the basis of choosingPlato’s successor, he, and not Speusippus, should have been the clear choice. More recently, scholars have posited pragmatic reasons for bypassing Aristotle (andXenocrates) for head of the Academy that had nothing to do with doctrinal differencesamong the eligible candidates. Aristotle and Xenocrates were not citizens of Athensand, as a consequence, they faced legal barriers with respect to owning property in thecity. Speusippus, on the other hand, was an Athenian citizen and, most importantly,Plato’s relative. This last fact might have been a major factor in his being appointedhead of the Academy; it guaranteed that Plato’s property remained in the family. Atthe same time, Aristotle’s decision to leave Plato’s school and Athens may have had asmuch, and possibly more, to do with an exceptional opportunity that arose around thetime of Plato’s death – namely, to carry out research, with his close associates at analmost ideal setting – than with his being bypassed as Plato’s successor or with allegeddoctrinal disagreements among the most prominent members of the Academy. In anycase, his leaving Athens does not necessarily mean that he moved away from the circleof the Academy. Period of TravelsAround the time of Plato’s death, Aristotle was invited by Hermeias, a former fellow-student in Plato’s Academy who had risen from slavery to become the ruler of Atarneusand Assos in the north-western coast of Asia Minor and who maintained close connec-tions with the Macedonian palace, to join a small group of other Academics gatheredaround him that included Erastus and Coriscus. The Sixth letter attributed to Plato 7
  24. 24. georgios anagnostopoulosindicates that he viewed Hermeias’ Academic circle as an extension of the Academy.Aristotle moved to Hermeias’ court with Xenocrates, to be joined later by Theophrastusof Lesbos – a life-long associate of Aristotle who eventually succeeded him as directorof his school upon his death – and Aristotle’s nephew Callisthenes. Thus Aristotle’sdeparture from Athens need not imply a complete break from the Academic circle. Inthe view of Jaeger “nothing more than a colony of the Athenian Academy was takingshape in Assos at this time, and there was laid the foundation of the school of Aristotle.”(p. 115) In speaking of “the foundation of the school of Aristotle,” Jaeger is thinking ofareas of study and approaches to inquiry that are associated with Aristotle and hisschool – i.e., the study of living things, and nature in general, and the empiricistapproach. The evidence bears this out. While at the court of Hermeias, Aristotle andhis associates embarked on an extensive research program in biology, especially a studyof the marine life of the area, which was essentially empirical in its character. It con-tinued when he and his team moved to the nearby island of Lesbos. Place-names in hisbiological treatises, especially HA, indicate that the north-western coast of Asia Minor,the Hellespont, and the Propontis were frequented by Aristotle while carrying out hisbiological investigations (see Lee 1948; Thompson 1913). Aristotle’s relationship to Hermeias was a close one. He married his niece andadopted daughter, Pythias, with whom he had a daughter by the same name. AfterPythias’ death, Aristotle lived till his death with a native of Stageira named Herpylliswho, according to Diogenes Laertius (V.1), bore him a son,4 Nicomachos, for whom hisNicomachean Ethics is named. The closeness of the relationship between Aristotle andHermeias is evident in a hymn and epitaph (see Diogenes Laertius V.6, 7–8) the phi-losopher composed for his friend; both are highly laudatory of his friend and for thatreason they were used against Aristotle in his final days in Athens (see below). In 342, King Philip of Macedon invited Aristotle to his palace and entrusted himwith the education of his son Alexander, who was at the time thirteen years old.Aristotle accepted the invitation, and spent two years in Pella and at the royal estatein Mieza, where there was a complete school. Again, we possess very little concreteinformation about what Aristotle taught the young Alexander, the future general andempire-builder, and about the kind of relationship the two had, thus leaving muchroom for speculation. Most scholars believe that while Aristotle’s teaching relied heavilyon Homer and the tragic poets, he also introduced the young Alexander to politicalstudies and possibly wrote for him two works: on Monarchy and on Colonies, which areincluded in lists of Aristotle’s works in antiquity but have not survived. Most likely, itwas at this time that Aristotle also embarked on his major project of studying many ofthe existing constitutions (158 of them) in the Greek world. The relationship between Aristotle and Alexander probably lasted until the latterdied. Although tradition has it that Alexander contributed a major sum of moneytoward Aristotle’s school in Athens, it is unlikely that the two were close.5 Whateverthe nature of the relationship was, it was not based on an affinity of their respectiveviews on the end of human life or the best political association for humans. For Aristotle,the contemplative life is the best, happiest, and most pleasant one a human can attain,and he lived such a life. Alexander, on the other hand, chose the life of action and ofempire-building. Aristotle argues that war cannot be the final end of human life (NEX.7), and while it is most likely that the ultimate objectives of Alexander and his father8
  25. 25. aristotle’s lifeaimed beyond warfare and conquest – possibly the Hellenizing of the world of the East– Aristotle seems to have had deep doubts and profound reservations about such aproject. He had advised Phillip against trying to build a mixed empire of Hellenic andnon-Hellenic subjects, and his steadfast defense of the city-state as the ideal politicalcommunity reveals his strong opposition to Alexander’s objectives. He thought that astate like the one his former pupil was aiming to build was neither conducive to nornecessary for the kind of human flourishing the polis, according to Aristotle, aims toachieve. His remark at NE X.8 1179a10 that “it is possible to perform noble actswithout being ruler of land and sea,” makes clear what he thought of Alexander’s kindof undertaking: conquering the world, building an empire, and engaging in endlesswarfare are not necessary for attaining the highest goals a human being can aim at.Again, his remarks on states and rulers bent on or giving primacy to war, warriorvirtues, and despotic rule over non-free subjects (Pol VII.13) are at odds with his formerpupil’s ambitions. In 340 Aristotle returned to Stageira, where he stayed until the death of Philip andthe latter’s succession by Alexander in 336, settling shortly after in Athens oncemore. Second Period in AthensAristotle’s second stay in Athens, 335–323, is considered the most productive periodof his life, the time when he composed or completed most of his major philosophicaltreatises. This is also the time when he established, with financial support fromAlexander, his own school, the Lyceum, named after the area of Athens located justoutside the city between the Hill of Lycabettus and the Illisos River, often frequentedby Socrates. In the mid-1990s, archaeologists excavated ruins of several structureslocated in what was the Lyceum area of ancient Athens, which they believe to havebeen a part of Aristotle’s school. Aristotle, not being a citizen of Athens, could not ownthe property constituting his school; he rented it. The wooded grove of the Lyceumprovided an ideal setting for what tradition reports as his favorite way of teaching –taking a walk (peripatos) “up and down philosophizing together with his stu-dents . . . hence the name ‘Peripatetic’ ” (Diogenes Laertius V.2). The school is reputedto have had a major library, which contained hundreds of manuscripts, maps, andother objects essential to the teaching of natural science, and became the model of thegreat libraries of antiquity in Alexandria and Pergamon.6 Aristotle spent half his life in Athens, longer than he resided anywhere else. Yetevidence suggests that the city might have never felt like home to him and it, in turn,might not have been very warm to him. As a foreigner non-citizen (metic), he did notenjoy all the rights or privileges of Athenians. In a letter to his close friend, Antipater,he complains that “In Athens the same things are not proper for a foreigner as they arefor a citizen; it is difficult to stay in Athens” (see Vita Marciana in Düring 1957: 105,and the latter’s comments, p. 459). Undoubtedly he was self-conscious of his ownstatus as a foreigner in Athens, and when in Pol VII.2 1324a14 he asks “which life ismore choice-worthy, the one that involves taking part in politics with other people andparticipating in a city-state or the life of an alien cut off from the political community?” 9
  26. 26. georgios anagnostopouloshe is probably articulating something of personal and profound significance to himself.7His critical attitude towards Athenian participatory democracy might have rubbed thewrong way ardent supporters of it, especially his exact contemporary Demosthenes,8and raised suspicions about him. His stay in Athens came to an abrupt end whenAlexander died in 323. Diogenes Laertius (V.1.6) reports that he “was indicted forimpiety by Eurymedon” or “according to Favorinus, by Demophilus, the ground of thecharge being the hymn he [Aristotle] composed to . . . Hermeias as well as the . . . in-scription for his [Hermeias’] statue at Delphi.” The impiety charge by Eurymedon may not be altogether baseless, given Aristotle’sviews on the gods. In the Met (983a6, 1072b13, 1074b33) Aristotle sees god as engag-ing only in self-contemplation; in NE he speaks of the gap separating gods from humans(VIII.7) and of the senselessness of thinking about the gods as acting like humans (X.7),claims that sharply contrast with popular religious beliefs of his time. At Met Λ.8 1074bAristotle questions and rejects even more openly the anthropomorphism of popularreligion and sides with the view of earlier thinkers that the natural world or the firstsubstance are gods.9 Eurymedon’s charge of impiety brings to mind the similar chargeagainst Socrates. The latter argues in Plato’s Apology that the real reasons behind hisindictment had nothing to do with his religious beliefs. There is good reason to believethat the same is true in Aristotle’s case. The timing of the indictment suggests that thereasons were political. The charge by Demophilus seems to be even less believable, if it was based on thecontents of Aristotle’s hymn to and epitaph for Hermeias. There seems to be nothingoffensive in them. But again, the real reasons behind the charge might have been dif-ferent – once more, political. Aristotle’s profuse praises for Hermeias, a person with alife-long connection to the Macedonian palace, most likely, irritated Athenian demo-crats at a time when anti-Macedonian sentiment was sweeping the city upon Alexander’sdeath. Aristotle’s connection to Alexander and an even closer one to Antipater – namedby Aristotle the executor of his will, a member of the inner circle, and perhaps theclosest advisor of Alexander, who appointed him regent of Macedonia and the rest ofGreece during his eastern expeditions – made him an obvious target. Aristotle wasforced to leave Athens, reportedly in order to “save it from sinning against philosophytwice,” (for the testimonies, see Düring 1957: 341–2) and leave Theophrastus as headof the Lyceum. Last Year in Chalcis, EuboiaAfter leaving Athens, Aristotle settled at his mother’s estate in Chalcis, where he dieda year later (322). In the biographical tradition, many report that he died on accountof his deep sorrow for being unable to explain the natural phenomenon of the powerfultide currents of Euripus, the narrow straight separating Euboia from the Greek main-land.10 Given Aristotle’s character and life-long pursuit of explanations of natural phe-nomena, this seems improbable. Most scholars believe that Aristotle died from a chronicintestinal condition. The appearance, manners, character, personality, and abilities of Aristotle attractedthe attention of ancient and later biographers, and some of their comments have sur-10
  27. 27. aristotle’s lifevived (see Düring 1957: 349–51). Diogenes Laertius, for instance, reports that Aristotle“spoke with a lisp . . . his calves were slender, his eyes small, and he was conspicuousby his attire, his rings, and the cut of his hair” (V.1.1); and that Plato, comparingXenocrates’ quickness of mind to Aristotle’s, said “the one needed a spur [Xenocrates],the other a bridle [Aristotle]” and “see what an ass [Xenocrates] I am training and whata horse [Aristotle] he has to run against” (IV.2.1). But it is difficult to know whetherany of these are true. Fortunately, concerning Aristotle’s intellectual abilities, his writ-ings provide ample testimony. Concerning his character, we have his will, which givesus a glimpse into his feelings and attitudes. In it, he leaves instructions for his daugh-ter’s marriage and his son’s supervision, and makes provisions for both of them as wellas for Herpyllis, about whom he speaks with affection and gratitude. He asks that hisfirst wife’s bones be buried wherever he is buried, honoring her request. He also makesarrangements for his household slaves, stipulating that none should be sold and thatthey should be freed when they are of age and if they deserve it. The latter might seempuzzling, given his defense of slavery in his Pol (especially I.3–6); but, in fact, it is inagreement with what he promises to discuss in a later book of the same work (Pol VII.101330a33) but never does. Finally, he leaves instructions for the placements of statuesof intimate associates and of his mother that he has already commissioned as well forthe commissioning and placement of life-size statues of Zeus and Athena in Stageira.These concerns of his and the whole tenor of his will show Aristotle to have been aperson with strong attachments to associates and members of his household, includingslaves with whom he might have enjoyed the kind of friendship he deems possiblebetween master and slave (Pol I.6 1255b12 and NE VIII.11 1161b1). Commenting onthe will, Jaeger remarks “There is something affecting in the spectacle of the exileputting his affairs in order. He is constantly calling to mind his home in Stageira andthe lonely house of his parents far away . . . Between the lines of the sober disposi-tions . . . we read a strange language . . . It is the warm tone of true humanity, and atthe same time of an almost terrifying gulf between him and the persons by whom hewas surrounded. These words were written by a lonely man.” (pp. 320–1)11 Whilethere might be a bit of hyperbole and speculation on Jaeger’s part here, he is correct inseeing true humanity in Aristotle’s will – a humanity that permeates his practicalphilosophy, even when he emphasizes the theoretic life. As Jaeger goes on to say,Aristotle’s “full life was not exhausted, as a superficial eye might suppose, by all itsscience and research. His ‘theoretic life’ was rooted in a second life, hidden and pro-foundly personal, from which that ideal derived its force. The picture of Aristotle asnothing but a scientist is the reverse of the truth” (p. 361). In Aristotle’s thought, thepull of the theoretic life is strong; yet the life of action guided by practical wisdom andthe excellences of character has its rightful place. There is no doubt that Aristotleshared in the first kind of life; his will shows the great extent to which he shared in thesecond as well.12 Notes1 Timber is one of the two commodities Aristotle mentions in his discussion of the territory of the ideal polis (Pol VII.5 1327a8). 11
  28. 28. georgios anagnostopoulos2 Works by Aristotle on dissections appear in all three detailed lists of his works from antiquity and later. Following Düring’s (1957) numbering system, they are as follows: in Diogenes Laertius nos. 103 and 104; in Hesychius nos. 93 and 94; in Ptolemy al-Garib no. 48. Works on medicine are: in Diogenes Laertius no. 110; Hesychius nos. 98 and 167; Ptolemy al-Garib no. 99. Works on medicine are also mentioned in Vita Marciana and Vita Lascaris. 3 Ross (1995: 3) cites views of Speusippus’ on Plato’s theories with which Aristotle disagreed; W. Jaeger (1962: 111) goes further, claiming that “Speusippus had himself declared the theory of Ideas untenable during Plato’s own lifetime, and had also abandoned the Ideal numbers suggested by Plato in his last period; he differed from him in other fundamental particulars as well.” Aristotle criticizes Speusippus’ views on the Forms, identifying him by name (Met Ζ.2 1028b21, Λ.7 1072b30) or his positions (A.9 992a32, Μ.6 1080b15, 8 1083a20, 9 1085a33). 4 That Aristotle’s son was with Herpyllis is also asserted in Vita Hesychii and in Suda, among others, and accepted by Ross (1995: 3) and Lloyd (1968: 8); but there are doubts. Düring, (1957: 262–7), citing a sentence in an Arabic version of Aristotle’s will that is missing from the Greek text and other testimony, says that, if we accept this sentence “we must conclude that N[ichomachus] was Aristotle’s legitimate son in his marriage with Pythias” (p. 261). J. Barnes (1995: 3) takes the same position. 5 Comments on the relation between Aristotle and Alexander (and Philip) can be found in the biographical tradition of late antiquity (see Düring 1957: 284–8), but most scholars consider them an unreliable source. 6 There is diversity of scholarly opinion about many matters relating to Aristotle’s school. Despite ancient testimony (see Düring 1957: 404–11) that Aristotle established a school, Düring (pp. 460–1) argues that Aristotle did not found a school like Plato’s Academy, and that the peripa- tetic school was established after his death. Barnes (1982: 5) also doubts that Aristotle estab- lished a formal school in the Lyceum; Ackrill (1981: 4) claims that he did. On peripatos and the name of Aristotle’s school, Diogenes Laertius gives two different accounts, and there are addi- tional ones in the biographical tradition (see Düring, 1957: 405–11). Allan (1978: 5) also rejects the idea that the name of Aristotle’s school had anything to do with Aristotle lecturing while walking. As to Aristotle’s library, while ancient testimony (see Düring, 1957: 337–8) supports the existence of it in Aristotle’s school, Düring himself (p. 338) concludes that, while Aristotle owned many books, he kept them at his house. For a more detailed discussion on Aristotle’s school, see J. Lynch (1972). 7 According to Düring (1957: 459), “at the age of seventeen he [Aristotle] came as a stranger to Athens. He was looked upon as a stranger throughout his life.” 8 For a discussion of the parallel lives of Aristotle and Demosthenes and their respective views on rights and democracy, see Fred D. Miller, Jr., in G. Anagnostopoulos (ed.), Law and Rights in the Ancient Greek Tradition, Supplementary Volume of Philosophical Inquiry (Athens, 2006), pp. 27–60. 9 “Our forefathers in the most remote ages have handed down to their posterity a tradition, in the form of myth, that these bodies are gods and that the divine encloses the whole of nature. The rest of the tradition has been added later in mythical form with a view of the persuasion of the multitude and to its utilitarian expediency; they say these gods are in the form of men . . . But if one were to separate the first point from these additions and take it alone – that they thought the first substance to be gods, one must regard this as an inspired utterance.”10 See the accounts of Justin Martyr, Gregorius Nazianzenus, Procopius, and Eustathius about the connection between Aristotle’s death and his inability to explain the tides of Euripus in Düring (1957: 347).12
  29. 29. aristotle’s life11 Düring (p. 462) reaches conclusions similar to Jaeger’s: “Aristotle left Athens in the middle of a political turmoil and died the same year, a lonely man. He had few real friends and numerous enemies.”12 I would like to thank Gerasimos Santas and Andreas Anagnostopoulos for helpful comments and suggestions. BibliographyAckrill, J. L. (1981). Aristotle the Philosopher (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Allan, D. J. (1978). The Philosophy of Aristotle (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Anagnostopoulos, G. (ed.) (2006). Law and Rights in the Ancient Greek Tradition, supple. vol. of Philosophical Inquiry.Barnes, J. (1982). Aristotle (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Barnes, J. (ed.) (1995). The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Diogenes Laertius (1972). Lives of Eminent Philosophers, vol. 1 (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press).Düring, I. (1957). Aristotle in the Ancient Biological Tradition (Göteborg: Institute of Classical Studies of the University of Göteborg).Grayeff, F. (1974). Aristotle and His School (London: Duckworth).Jackson, H. (1920). “Aristotle’s Lecture-room and Lectures,” Journal of Philology, 35, pp. 191– 200.Jaeger, W. (1962). Aristotle: Fundamentals of the History of his Development (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Lee, H. D. P. (1948). “Place-names and the Date of Aristotle’s Biological Works,” Classical Quarterly, pp. 61–7.Lloyd, G. E. R. (1968). Aristotle: The Growth and Structure of his Thought (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Lynch, J. (1972). Aristotle’s School (Berkeley, CA: University of California Press).Miller, F. D., Jr. (2006). “Legal and Political Rights in Demosthenes and Aristotle,” in G. Anagnostopoulos (ed.), Law and Rights in the Ancient Greek Tradition, supple. vol. of Philosophical Inquiry, pp. 27–60.Ross, W. D. [1923] (1995). Aristotle (London/New York: Routledge).Thompson, W. D. (1913). On Aristotle as a Biologist (Oxford: Clarendon Press). 13
  30. 30. 2 Aristotle’s Works and the Development of His Thought g e o rg i o s a nag n o s t o po u l o s Catalogues and Editions of Aristotle’s WorksFrom the biographical tradition of late antiquity we have inherited three itemized listsof works attributed to Aristotle.1 Diogenes Laertius (third century CE) credits Aristotlewith 143 works; Hesychius (sixth century CE) attributes to him 187; and the Ptolemyal-Garib (fourth century CE?) catalogue includes 99 works. (The totals given here arebased on the numbering system used by Düring, 1957.) The obvious differences in thenumbers of works included in these lists are due primarily to the different ways a workmay appear on a list. For example, the Eudemian Ethics appears as a single work in onelist while in another the various Books of that same work are listed as separate items.When one takes into account that Aristotle’s works are parsed in different ways bythose cataloguing them, then, it will become apparent that the three lists overlap con-siderably although not completely. However one counts the items in these lists, what is included in them constitutes amost impressive achievement in terms of quantity, scope of topics covered, and quality– facts that did not escape Diogenes. He introduces his list by remarking that“His [Aristotle’s] writings are very numerous and, considering the man’s all-roundexcellence, I deemed it incumbent on me to catalogue them” (V.21), and concludes byestimating that the items in his catalogue add up to “in all 445, 270 lines” (V.27).2Aristotle’s contributions across almost all philosophical areas are major; in thewords of J. Barnes (1982: 1), “He bestrode antiquity like an intellectual colossus. Noman before him had contributed so much to learning. No man after him could hope torival his achievements.” But in some fields he was not a mere contributor. He was apioneer and his theories defined these fields of inquiry for centuries, especially logic andbiology. With respect to the former, he seems self-conscious of his achievement inarticulating the syllogistic system of deductive inference. At the conclusion of SE (34184b1) he remarks that “on the subject of deduction we had absolutely nothing elseof an earlier age to mention,” and views the results of his own systematic inquiries ondeduction as satisfactory. With respect to his contributions in biology, the opinion ofthe late M. Delbrück, Nobel laureate in biology (1969), will give a sense of his achieve-ment. Delbrück suggested that Aristotle should be awarded posthumously the NobelPrize on account of his theory of biological form as the carrier, from one generation to14
  31. 31. aristotle’s works and thoughtthe other, of the kind of genetic information identified in DNA theories (Delbrück1971). But how accurate are these lists? Do they include everything Aristotle wrote? Dothey include more than he wrote? Undoubtedly, the latter is true. Already in antiquity,biographers and scholars were aware that certain works attributed to Aristotlewere not his. Hesychius concludes his list by appending ten works (items 188–97) helabels as spurious (pseudoepigrapha). Moreover, there are reasons to believe thatsuch works were known to Andronicus, the first editor of Aristotle’s works (seebelow), several centuries earlier (Düring 1957: 91). Indeed, almost all of the lasttwenty-nine items listed as non-spurious in Hesychius’ catalogue do not correspond toany items in the lists of Diogenes Laertius or Ptolemy al-Garib and their authenticity isquestionable, with some scholars surmising that they are titles of books that were inthe libraries of Rhodes or Pergamon (see Düring 1957: 91). Even items that appear inall three lists may not be Aristotle’s works, although some of them have survived andare included in modern editions of the Aristotelian corpus.3 Surprisingly, Diogenes’catalogue omits several major works by Aristotle – including On the Soul (de Anima),Parts of Animals and Generation of Animals – whose authenticity has never been indoubt. The above lists were based on a biography of Aristotle by Hermippus (third centuryCE), which has been lost, and possibly on the work of the peripatetic scholar Andronicusof Rhodes, who is credited with the systematic cataloguing and editing of Aristotle’sworks around the middle of first century BCE. While the details of Andronicus’ plan forcataloguing and editing Aristotle’s works are unclear and the subject of many scholarlycontroversies, those regarding the fate of Aristotle’s writings after his death and theway they landed into his first editor’s hands are the subject of a legend. As the legendgoes, when Aristotle died, his successor at the Lyceum, Theophrastus, inherited hislibrary and it then was passed on to the latter’s nephew Neleus, who took it to the cityof Scepsis in Asia Minor and left it with his relatives who, in turn, hid it underground.The contents of Aristotle’s library, the legend continues, remained hidden foralmost two centuries and suffered considerable damage, till they were moved first toAthens and then to Rome where Andronicus prepared his edition (see Düring 1957:412–25). The legend has given rise to a tale about the availability and influence ofAristotle’s writings over the years during which they were supposedly hidden under-ground: They were not available to anyone, even to those in Aristotle’s own schooland, as a consequence, his works were hardly read by or had any influence on anyone;however, Andronicus’ edition changed all that and revived interest in Aristotelianism.4While Andronicus’ editorial achievements, which have shaped the Aristotelian corpusas we have it today, are not in doubt, most everything in both the legend and the taleis contested. First of all, it is unlikely that Aristotelian manuscripts had disappeared from all loca-tions, including Aristotle’s own school, from Theophrastus’ death until the timeAndronicus edited them. Most probably, the Lyceum had copies of some, if not of all,of Aristotle’s works as did libraries and some individuals. Most scholars believe thatthere was considerable interest in and philosophical discussion of the views of Aristotleduring these same years in the many philosophical centers, including those of Athens,Rome, Asia Minor, and additional cities along the shores of the eastern Mediterranean.5 15
  32. 32. georgios anagnostopoulosFurthermore, the parts of the legend concerning the transference of Aristotle’s worksto and from their underground storage in Asia Minor as well as the extent of thedamage they suffered have been questioned. Concerning the latter, in particular, somesee behind it a bias against Aristotle and the peripatetic school among biographers andcommentators.6 There is, however, considerable testimony about Andronicus’ cataloguing andediting of the Aristotelian corpus that seems reliable, and it appears that he was well-prepared for what must have been a major editorial undertaking. He was a peripateticand an accomplished scholar himself, who is reputed to have lectured on Aristotle andhis school and to have authored some philosophical works of his own, including a workthat was an introduction to his edition of Aristotle’s texts which may have been titledOn Aristotle’s Writings (Düring 1957: 442).7 But what exactly were the materials thatAndronicus catalogued and edited and what did his editing amount to? Surviving tes-timony as to the materials inherited by Neleus, stored underground in Scepsis, movedto Rome and, eventually, catalogued and edited by Andronicus is at best ambiguousand conflicting. In some cases the materials are described as Aristotle’s own writings(autographa); in others, as Aristotle’s library; and in yet others, as Aristotle’s andTheophrastus’ libraries. Tradition has it that Aristotle, in addition to his own works,bought books by others and had a library; Theophrastus, who inherited Aristotle’slibrary and is credited by Diogenes Laertius with having authored “a large number ofwritings” (227, to be exact), also had a library that probably included books written byothers, bequeathing all of these to Neleus (see Theophrastus’ will in Diogenes Laertius,V. 52). Thus the collection of works that ended up in Andronicus’ hands, after itsincredible journey (Athens–Scepsis–Athens–Rome) may have included works byTheophrastus and other peripatetics. Hence, claims in late antiquity that some worksattributed to Aristotle were not by him but, instead, were written by other peripatetics,might not be completely baseless. But at least one source (Ammonius in his commen-tary on Aristotle’s Int 5.24) reports that Andronicus was judicious in his work, that heused rigorous criteria for ascertaining whether or not a treatise was a genuineAristotelian text – e.g., diction, methods of exposition, and relationship with othergenuine works by Aristotle (see also Gottschalk 1990, p. 58ff). While these criteriaseem reasonable, they do not remove all doubts; the works of other peripatetics couldeasily pass Andronicus’ test. Indeed, some of the works making up the Aristoteliancorpus today but whose authenticity is questioned are thought to have been authoredby members of the peripatos (e.g., Problems). As to the nature of Andronicus’ editing of the Aristotelian corpus, the consensusamong scholars is that it has shaped Aristotle’s works as we know them and, thus, ithas had a major influence in the way his works have been read and understood duringthe past two millennia. What is meant by this is not necessarily that Andronicus alteredAristotle’s texts, but that he organized what were probably separate, short texts intothe treatises we have today and, in addition, divided the treatises into groups on thebasis of their subject-matter (e.g., ethical, physical, psychological, or logical), or theirintended audience and possibly philosophical rigor or significance, or their use ininquiry (e.g., the ones that are or investigate the instruments of inquiry – the logicaltreatises constituting the Organon – vs. those that investigate a certain domain). Scholarsfind evidence for this in Porphyry’s account (Vita Plotini ca. 24) of Andronicus’ method16
  33. 33. aristotle’s works and thoughtof editing Aristotle’s works, which he claims to have used himself as a model in editingthe works of Plotinus. Porphyry speaks of such organization of writings according totheir subject into a single treatise and possibly of grouping together of treatises. Thus,Barnes (1995: 11) sees the Top as such a collection of essays on related themes, appear-ing as different items in Diogenes Laertius’ list but made into a single work byAndronicus, who has thus influenced once and for all the way we read these separatepieces – i.e., as parts of a unified work. Of course, the same can be said about many ofAristotle’s works, including his physical treatises, his ethical ones, and what has cometo be called Metaphysics, perhaps the most daring attempt by Andronicus (and possiblyothers – see below) at creating a single treatise out of what seem to be separate anddisparate essays – an attempt that, according to many, has not succeeded in producinga work possessing unity or coherence. But how did Andronicus arrive at the editorial principles that have organizedAristotle’s writings in the way we know them today and which are perhaps responsiblefor all or most of the systematicity we find in them? Düring argues that Andronicus hadworked out a comprehensive view of Aristotle as a systematic thinker and of the con-tents of his many treatises as the articulation of a single system. He thinks that suchviews were the centerpieces of Andronicus’ lost book referred to earlier (On Aristotle’swritings), which functioned as an introduction to his edition of Aristotle’s works, andthat those same views guided his cataloguing and editing of the Aristotelian corpus. InDüring’s opinion, Andronicus proceeded to (a) organize the treatises according tosubject-matter, disregarding their chronology; (b) artificially create a department ofknowledge called “metaphysics,” corresponding to Aristotle’s “first philosophy;” (c)accept the distinction between “exoteric” (i.e., works for a wider audience) and“acroamatic” or “acroatic” (or “esoteric,” i.e., those intended for a select and trainedaudience), restricting the former to Aristotle’s early dialogues and other popular writ-ings and minimizing their importance, on the one hand, while equating the acroamaticor esoteric with the treatises and viewing them as the only important works and “theonly true expression of Aristotle’s thought,” on the other; and (d) capitalize on an idea“mentioned only in passing by Aristotle, namely that logic and dialectics are the instru-ments of philosophy” and proceed to arrange “all the logical writings in a corpus towhich he gave the name Organon” (Düring 1957: 422–3). Düring’s opinion about Andronicus’ editorial principles can be easily gleaned fromwhat is asserted (a)–(d), but he emphatically states that, “In his work on Aristotle’swritings Andronicus was inspired by some typically Hellenistic but very un-Aristotelianideas. He believed that Aristotle had written his scholarly treatises as part of a philo-sophic system; he tried to arrange the writings according to this idea” (pp. 422–3).According to this view, Andronicus was guided by editorial principles that were notapplicable to Aristotle, in the end creating a philosophical system where presumablythere was none. Given that the canonical, modern edition of Aristotle’s works byImmanuel Bekker (Berlin 1831) – on which the numbering system for referring to anypassage in any Aristotelian text is based – derives directly from Andronicus’ edition, itshould not come as a surprise that the unity/disunity of or the order of the Books withinseveral treatises are hotly contested. Once the view articulated above about the inap-propriateness of Andronicus’ editorial principles is accepted – as is by many – disputesseem inevitable. Thus, scholars disagree about the placement of the middle Books of 17
  34. 34. georgios anagnostopoulosthe Pol, the common Books of the EE and NE, the appropriateness of including Book Iof Phys in that treatise and, of course, about the Met. Regarding the last treatise, itsunity is not the only issue. As (b) shows, according to Düring, Aristotle had no concep-tion of metaphysics as a subfield of philosophy; it was fabricated by the editor of histexts. Many point out that Aristotle did not name any of his works Metaphysics and henever uses the term “metaphysics” or its cognates. The term is believed to have origi-nated with Andronicus who grouped a number of Aristotle’s writings into a singlevolume and placed it after (meta) the physical treatises (physika). Thus the term meta-physica, which became the name of Aristotle’s work, did not mean what it subsequentlycame to mean – a subfield of philosophy. These facts about the origin and meaning ofthe term “metaphysics” have been used by some recent opponents of metaphysics, notonly to support the claim that Aristotle had no conception of metaphysics and was nota metaphysician, but also as evidence for their contention that such a subfield does notexist or is impossible. It is clear that the reasoning behind these last claims is a nonsequitur. From the fact that Aristotle did not name one of his treatises Metaphysics – didhe name all or most of his other works? – or had no single term corresponding to“metaphysics,” does not follow that he had no conception of metaphysics as a subfieldof inquiry or that he did not write on metaphysical issues. Plato did not have a term formetaphysics either, but hardly anyone denies that he was a metaphysician. Needlessto say, nothing also follows from such linguistic facts about the existence/non-existenceor possibility/impossibility of metaphysics. Now, while it is wise to exercise caution about Andronicus’ editorial decisions, thereis also the danger of going overboard, especially when our primary access to Aristotle’stexts is through Andronicus’ edition. Those seeing a heavy-handed approach inAndronicus’ editing assume that Aristotle had no system whatsoever and thatAndronicus imposed a comprehensive one on his work. Both of these assumptionsshould be questioned. It is doubtful that Aristotle’s works, as edited by Andronicus,constitute a comprehensive system of thought into which everything he says fits neatly.But there is systematic thinking in them about many things – the nature of the sciences,the faculties of the soul, the types and correctness of political constitutions, the natureof causes, the nature of physical bodies and that of heavenly ones and the relationbetween the two, to mention a few. These fragments of systematic thinking have notbeen created by Andronicus; they are to be found in Aristotle’s texts. Why then supposethat Aristotle had no philosophical system, or even that he did not treat systematicallyany topic, and that it was his editor who invented either a single comprehensive oneor many mini-systems for him out of nowhere? And should we dismiss any and all attempts to group various texts by Aristotle intosingle works, along the lines Andronicus attempted to do? Admittedly, the criteria fordetermining whether the different parts making up the NE, Pol, or Phys constitute aunity in each case are less well-defined and more likely to be contested than diction ormethod. But even with unity there are some limits, which Andronicus seems to haveobserved. He does not group the essays making up the Top with those of Rhet or An. Pr,or those of the NE with those of Pol, although there are connections between the worksin the first group, and the treatises in the second exhibit not only strong connectionsbut an obvious continuity – the NE leads directly into the Pol. And, in many instances,for every argument questioning Andronicus’ judgment in grouping some texts together18

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